How Covid invited a rethink of the scientific publications business


Science journalists have for many years cited the difficulty of conciliating the (long) time required in scientific activity and the (rapid) time in which the media operate. The Covid-19 pandemic came perilously close to joining the two, when an avalanche of scientific papers about the virus were published with such haste that many had to be swiftly retracted. Science journalist and historian Nicolas Chevassus-au-Louis reports on how the pandemic exposed the unvirtuous practices of the lucrative scientific publications business, now brought to a turning point and in need of reinvention.

France is facing a new COVID-19 wave says vaccination chief

France — Link

Vaccination chief Alain Fischer spoke as daily new cases reached an almost two-month peak at more than 95,000.

France lifts most Covid restrictions from Monday

France — Link

Despite the return of a rise in recorded daily numbers of Covid-19 infections, the French government has announced the suspension as of March 14th of most of the restrictions introduced to contain the epidemic, including mask-wearing in many public places or the requirement of a valid vaccine pass to access restaurants and leisure venues.

Covid virus infections rise again in France

France — Link

While hospital admissions in France for patients with Covid-19 fell slightly this week, the number of people who have tested positive for infection by the virus that causes the disease has begun to rise again.

French paediatricians on the known and unknown effects of Covid on children

France — Report

The medical profession has been on a steep learning curve about the consequences, notably long-term, of infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Covid-19 disease it causes. But mystery remains over many aspects of the virus, and in particular about its effects, and true infection rates, among the very young. Caroline Coq-Chodorge reports from the south-east French city of Lyon, where paediatricians with the country’s second-largest teaching hospital group recount their findings.    

Dozens arrested as Paris police halt 'convoy' protest over Covid rules

France — Link

More than 50 people were arrested and several hundred fined as a so-called 'freedom convoy' of vehicles reached Paris in protest over France's Covid-19 vaccine pass requirements for access to a number of public venues.

Macron refused Russian Covid test over 'DNA theft fears'

International — Link

Before his meeting in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Emmanuel Macron refused to submit to a Russian PCR test for Covid over fears that his DNA could be extracted, sources close to the French president told news agency Reuters.

French government presents roadmap for easing of Covid restrictions

France — Link

French Prime Minister Jean Castex and health minister Olivier Véran on Thursday presented the planned gradual lifting of current public restrictions to contain the spread of Covid-19, with mass gatherings allowed from early February, when staff home-working where practical will no longer be required, and the reopening of night clubs after the middle of the month.

French teachers denounce ‘infernal’ conditions in schools amid pandemic


French school teachers and education staff held a crippling strike and nationwide protest marches last Thursday over what they say are chaotic and unsafe working conditions brought about by ever-changing, last-minute anti-Covid measures imposed without consultation by the education ministry, and which they too often learn about from the media. Mathilde Goanec has been hearing from teachers and local councils about their nigh impossible mission amid the government’s determination to keep schools open.

Tribunal overturns outdoor mask-wearing requirement in Paris

France — Link

An administrative tribunal has overturned a requirement recently imposed by the Paris prefecture for the wearing of masks in outdoor public spaces in the capital, ruling that the measure was disproportionate to the health risks otherwise present and that it did not take into account the locations and timing of mass circulation.

The danger of Macron's decision to depict the unvaccinated as 'non-citizens'

France — Opinion

In an interview with daily newspaper Le Parisien French president Emmanuel Macron cheerfully admitted that he wanted to “piss off” those who had chosen not to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as much as possible. The comment has made headlines around the world. But less remarked upon was his extraordinary description of anyone unvaccinated as an “irresponsible person who is no longer a citizen”. In saying this, says Mediapart's political correspondent Ellen Salvi, the head of state – the guarantor of law in the French Republic – has committed a moral, institutional and political error. In this op-ed article she argues that Emmanuel Macron is adding hysteria to the debate, dividing society and giving fresh impetus to the very people he is claiming to be combating.

French TV star twins die ‘from Covid’ within six days of each other

France — Link

French TV star Igor Bogdanoff has died at the age of 72 less than a week after his identical twin brother Grichka, who died on 28 December.

Ethical dilemma: French patients could be denied ICU access as Covid cases rise

France — Investigation

Mediapart has seen a document in which doctors in the south of France are drawing up plans to decide which patients will be admitted to hospital intensive care units - and which will not - amid fears that the current wave of Covid-19 cases could overwhelm them. The revelation comes as France recorded 179,807 Covid cases in a single day. According to the working document, if the situation worsens ICU staff in Marseille and across the southern region of PACA could refuse admission to frail patients over 65. Meanwhile doctors have told Mediapart of their concern over the ethical issues they will face if they have to deny patients healthcare. Pascale Pascariello reports.

France reports record Covid case figures

France — Link

However, the figure of 179,807 cases reported on Tuesday December 28th could be partly due to delayed reporting over the Christmas period. 

France tightens anti-Covid measures

France — Link

French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Monday announced new measures to stem the rampant progression of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, including mask-wearing in city centre streets and limits on numbers attending indoor and outdoor gatherings, although no curfews are presently envisaged and schools will reopen as normal in January.